Wednesday Sessions: Organizational Skills @ Traf Rountable

This morning we had a very productive discussion that focused on how we can promote effective organization skills with a few simple, school-wide strategies.

Here was our goal:

To leave the meeting with 3 core  practical, realistic, and common classroom strategies to help embed effective organizational skills (OS) for students @ Traf!

I am very pleased to say that we did it!

Here are my slides for the presentation:

Although we had a lively discussion which can be seen in the pics below, staff also had a chance to use our backchannel, a basic google doc formatted in sections that corresponded with our slides. A staff volunteer took notes during the whole meeting and populated the backchannel with the staff’s comments. (Thanks so much Annie!)


The strategies emerged from practices that most teachers were already doing. However, it was a good reminder that certain simple strategies practiced consistently had a lot of effect on rates of timely homework submission and general preparedness. As well, though we did not emphasize this, when speaking of their strategies teachers also mentioned that practicing them lowered level of stress and anxiety in their students. They had time to write down what was going on and consequently were less worried about what they had to do.

Here are our 3 strategies ( I thought they deserved to be prettied up!)


Last but not least:


QSLIN: Remix ED Camp

I just received this in my inbox from the QSLIN blog:

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 8.32.40 AM

Read more…

It is free to register and you get free food! Here is what is on offer,( besides free breakfast, lunch and prizes):

emix Ed is more than just an ed camp. We want you to come and share your voice, your experience, and your expertise with everyone. We’re also bringing in some amazing speakers to talk about things that can make a difference in your classroom, right now. It’s not just theory, or socializing (although there will be plenty of that, too). We have LEARN Quebec, Learning Bird, an all-day maker space, and sessions on both Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365, and even more! Here’s a preview of what kind of sessions you’ll find:
  • Community Learning Centres
  • Kids Code
  • PD 24/7
  • Differentiating Instruction
  • How to create digital lessons
  • Get Homework done with Learning Bird (kid friendly session)
  • Data-driven Teaching and Learning
  • Robotics
  • Programming
  • Textiles
  • Low tech making (e.g. cardboard)

Sign me up! Any other takers?

The Importance of Informal Learning | LearnDash

I found this infographic interesting. I am thinking of how to go forward with our iPad PD next year and would like to make use of our “database of experts” more as well as set up an informal peer to peer mentor system. I think our experience in the past years have been that formal learning settings (eg. the iPad challenges) have a limited use.

The feedback has been consistent in that some people need to go slower, while for some it doesn’t go fast enough. There is always the problem as well that what is being presented is not relevant to you at the time.

I am just brainstorming here, but what if we had a set up where we put aside some time for sharing info with our peers? For example, if a teacher wanted to know about the best way to use interactive quizzes in the classroom, she would sign up with one of the peer experts to learn how to do that. There would also need to be a certain rotation where an expert also has a chance to learn something new from someone else. Though it might pose some logistic challenges, once a schedule and a protocol is put in place it could work well!

What do you think?

Sourced through from:

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Cutting Edge-ucation: Profession Development Gluttony? Refine your Palate.

Lately, I’ve been trying to re-think the way I read. As a YA librarian (and let’s face it, a lifetime avid reader), I tend to devour books like I’m a contestant at a pie-eating contest. But lately I feel like I am reading and reading but not tasting or thinking about what I am reading.

I have not been taking the time to savour my literary pies, so to speak.

So I made some changes. Instead of having a pile of books I NEED to read by my desks at home and at work I have dispersed the books (which is goodness for all of you who use the library and who were searching for a book that I hordes away… Sorry about that.) I have started reading heavier material, more slowly. I have even bought some used copies of these books so that I can write inside them. I am not reading as much, but I am definitely getting more out of the book.

The article below made me think about this in terms of our PD and how it is designed, and disseminated.I think that our gradual transition from sessions where you are talked at for the whole period to sessions where teachers have the time to play around with the app is a good one. We are still not there yet, still having too much front of the class time and not enough play time, but I think this idea of Slow Professional Development (I just coined a term!) is worth exploring more in depth. Having a structured time for some professional introspection where we can delve inside our unique issues and challenges and try to “ideate” solutions (I am so full of buzzwords today…) is probably more valuable than the time we have allotted for it.

What do you think?


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iPad Goals: 2 Building Blocks given today!

2_duplo_lego_bricksAt the beginning of the year, we decided that we should gamify our iPad PD. Everytime a staff member reached one of their individual iPad goals, or successfully completed a programmed iPad challenge, they would receive a duple block. At the end of the year, we hope to put them all together and make some crazy structure, to have a visualization of everything we learned this year.

It came to my attention this morning that two more teachers have reached their iPad goals!

Annie Brown, English teacher, has made an iBook in order to greet potential students for next year.


Christianne Loupelle, Science teacher, started using Showbie in order to better manage all the documents and submissions for the Science Fair this year.


Way to go ladies! If you have completed an iPad goal and I don’t know about it, come tell me and get your block!

For beginners: a selection of How To’s from the iPadyouPad archive

I am in the midst of preparing for tomorrow’s introductory session  to the iPad and  thought I would post what I am going to talk about, just in case there are any keeners and want a headstart. That way we can skip over the stuff you already know and go straight to what you don’t.

1. Setting up your itunes account

Apple’s tutorial is pretty handy, so take a look. If you are using your department’s account, make sure you have the password.

2. How to configure your mail app

3. How to make folders for your apps

4.Workshop challenges: includes how to take a screenshot, how to move between apps, how to move your cursor, how to make a passcode, how to add to your homescreen and iTunes U.

5. Pages: a quick tutorial on how to use the word processing app.

6. Keynote: A quick introduction to the wonders of Apple’s presentation app.

7. What to do if your iPad acts up

8. We will also download two great ibooks for future reference:

9. Whatever you want! I don’t guarantee I will know right off the bat, but I guarantee I can find out for you…

How is that for a spoiler?